No price increase in holiday food items — DTI  

Maris Federez   •   November 9, 2021   •   301

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has allayed fears of impending price increases as the holiday season begins.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said food manufacturers have promised not to make any price increases on holiday food items.

Lopez said that, in return, the government will commit to giving support to these manufacturers.

“Mas marami ‘yung mga hindi nagtaas. Nag-abiso na sila, hindi magtataas ‘yung mga ham, ‘yung mga queso de bola, mga fruit cocktail, etcetera, mga pasta and sauce. Iyong mga hindi nagtaas, iyan po ang ating ipu-promote at iyan po ang aming ipa-publish sa bawat produkto, anong brand, anong SKU (stock keeping unit), anong size ang hindi nagtaas.  Kaya po masuwerte po iyong mga hindi magtataas ipu-promote po sila ng gobyerno,” Lopez said.

The official also noted minimal adjustments in the price of other grocery products, and that prices of most basic goods remain the same.

“Halos hindi mo nararamdaman kung itong mga paggalaw. More than one-half po noong ating nasa listahan ng basic necessity and prime commodities, wala pong pag-increase. At iyong mga may nag-increase man, ito po ay nasa mga 3% lamang,” he added.

In the recent study released by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the agency reported a low inflation rate in the country in October. This is due to the slow movement in the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correpondent Rosalie Coz)

QC lawmaker calls for arrest of hoarders, price manipulators of flu medicines

Maris Federez   •   January 6, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City 2nd District Representative Precious Hipolito Castelo has called on the authorities to go after and arrest those who overstock and manipulate the prices of essential medicines such as paracetamol and flu medicines, resulting in pharmacies running short of supplies.

Castelo said there are existing laws and local ordinances that prohibit hoarding and price manipulation.

Castelo called on authorities to ensure that these laws and ordinances are strictly implemented to protect the interest and welfare of the public, especially the poor.

“The concerned authorities should enforce these to protect the interest and welfare of our people, especially the poor. Hoarding denies the poor access to essential products like medicines and increases the prices of these commodities,” Castelo said.

The Department of Health had earlier said that there is no shortage of paracetamol or other flu medicines.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), however, confirmed that two popular brands of pharmaceutical company, Unilab, have run out of stock in other areas in the country.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez ensured that new stocks of these medicines will be delivered the soonest time possible. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Employers urged to strictly enforce protocols, promote work-from-home setup amid rising COVID cases

Robie de Guzman   •   January 6, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday reminded employers from the public and private sectors to firmly enforce minimum public health standards amid increasing cases of COVID-19 in the country.

In a joint statement, the agencies said employers should also “encourage work-from-home setup or alternative work arrangements, whenever possible,” saying it is critical during this period of exponential increase in cases.

For those working on-site, the employers are reminded to implement the following:

  • Assign and designate health safety officers to remind employees of minimum public health standards as well as to monitor and track symptoms
  • Ensure proper ventilation and avoid closed spaces
  • Close down pantries or areas where people can meet up maskless.
  • Facilitate isolation for symptomatic (for 10 days) or quarantine for close contacts (14 days non-vaccinated, 7 days vaccinated) and testing of symptomatic employees
  • Provide adequate assistance for individuals who are undergoing quarantine and isolation such as support for medicine, food, and others
  • Promote the use of bicycles or walking to the office to avoid exposure in crowded places
  • Comply strictly on inspecting proof of vaccination in premises or business operations where these are required by the IATF

“Employees with symptoms should stay home, isolate, and maximize the use of telemedicine services with healthcare providers,” the statement read.

Options for telemedicine services can be viewed at this link.

“All employers are strongly encouraged to coordinate with the local government unit’s epidemiological and surveillance unit for specific response and reporting guidance,” the agencies said.

Drug firms working to replenish supply of paracetamol in pharmacies – DTI

Robie de Guzman   •   January 5, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Pharmaceutical companies are now working to speed up the delivery of stocks of popular brands of paracetamol following reports on its lack of supply in drugstores, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Wednesday.

In an advisory, the DTI said the popular brands of paracetamol went out of stock in some pharmacies “due to the sudden increase in demand.”

Paracetamol is a medication used to treat common pains and fevers.

The DTI reiterated that there was no shortage of paracetamol and other medicines used to manage flu-like symptoms.

“Rest assured that there is enough supply, and deliveries are being expedited to replenish retail stock inventories,” the department said.

In a radio interview, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said manufacturers did not expect the rise in demand for paracetamol and other medicines, and the pharmacies’ normal inventory was not prepared.

He urged the public not to panic buy and to only purchase the necessary quantity.

“The Department of Trade and Industry is also in touch with drugstores and pharmacies to limit purchase quantity and prevent panic buying,” the DTI said.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said that paracetamol has many generic alternatives in the market, which are available in many drug stores nationwide. Other medicines for cough and colds are also available.

The department also appealed to consumers “to refrain from hoarding, panic-buying or unnecessary purchases of such medications when not clinically warranted.”




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